Heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults, and for those living in Northwestern Ontario, there is even a greater chance that you or someone you love is at risk. Specifically, in the Thunder Bay District, we have a 50% higher incidence rate compared to the rest of Ontario. Therefore, Northern Hearts, who have a mission to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the incidence of heart disease, has created some heart healthy activities to participate in this month.
Some activities are listed here, but you can follow along on our Facebook and Instagram for daily activities and updates!
No time for exercise? Try exercising in 10-minute bouts throughout the day! Get up and do some squats, jumping jacks, or jogging/walking on the spot. You can even do this during commercial breaks or when taking breaks from your desk.
Drink plenty of water, over 2 litres per day are recommended. Water helps carry nutrients to cells, flush bacteria from your bladder, aides in digestion, and stabilizes your heartbeat.
Choose low-sodium options when you can. This simple fix can lower blood pressure, prevent kidney damage, and even improve memory!
Try to stretch throughout the day, simply raising the arms above your head or straightening your legs can improve blood flow, leading to less damage on artery walls.
Swap out simple carbohydrates (refined sugars like soda, table sugar, and syrups) for complex carbohydrates, or “starchy” foods like beans, veggies, whole-grain options, and fibre.
Quit smoking. It is one of the most important lifestyle changes you can make. Smokers are 2 times as likely to have a heart attack or stroke and 2 times more likely to die from them.
Take action now with some of these programs linked here:
Tobacco-Free Counselling: call (807) 625-5982 or visit www.tbdhu.com
Smokers’ Helpline: 1-877-513-5333 or visit www.smokershelpline.ca
For stories about people who have quit, visit www.nwquit.com
Join our Facebook and Instagram for more activities and share with us what you are doing during Heart Month!